J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study said Volkswagen owners reported an average 131 problems per 100 cars and tied with Mini at 29th among 32 brands. Marc Trahan, VW’s executive VP in charge of quality, acknowledged some problems with the IQS survey but pointed to its many models rated as “top safety pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which crash-tests cars to judge how well they would protect occupants. A different Power study called APEAL (Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout) gives VW an above average grade, ranking 14 out of 32 brands. VW’s warranty costs have been dropping by about 10% for several years.